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True/False Documentary Festival Announced
The Quietus , February 13th, 2012 12:20

Our favourite documentary film festival runs from 1st-4th March in Columbia, Missouri. Details are available here.

If any of our readers find themselves passing through the American Midwest in about a month (perhaps on a Neal Cassady style cross-country binge on wheels), make sure the bus stops off in the lovely college town of Columbia, Missouri for the True/False documentary film festival.

The adjacent University of Missouri (Mizzou) is known for its strong journalism course, so it’s an appropriate place to house a festival which promotes the best in filmic investigation and reporting. But as the name suggests, the organisers are also wary of cinema’s authoritarian voice and always throw a few unreliable narrators, creative-non fiction and even faux documentaries into the mix (last year they showed Troll Hunter, whose clever misdirection ensured we thought it was a documentary for the first five minutes). There’s also plenty of good food, surreal parties and busking bands on every street corner, all adding to the general ambience.

Since few festivals give such attention to the documentary medium, True/False pulls in great talent for Q&As. This year, one of the few big names of the documentary world, Morgan Spurlock, will be in attendance promoting Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, in which he gets to the emotional core of the yearly geek-a-thon, rather than resorting to parody.

We also recommend Abendland by the director of the provocative Our Daily Bread, something of a Baraka for industrialised farming, and Detropia (from the directors of documentary classic Jesus Camp) which looks for signs of hope in the crumbling motor city.

True/False also presents a rare opportunity to see Shirley Clarke’s 1962 classic The Connection, a deceptively real-looking but actually meticulously scripted play about Harlem jazz musicians looking for a fix.

How to Survive a Plague, meanwhile, tells the story of AIDS activist collective ACT-UP, whose daring and effective protests put most political activists to shame. And finally, we’re intrigued by the organisers’ choice of V/H/S, a very fictional horror film with some rather convincing use of found footage and home movies.

We’re gutted not to make it this time, but will be sure to put in an appearance at the 10th anniversary next year.

True/False runs from 1st-4th March in Columbia, Missouri. Details are available at their website.